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Important documents to include in your estate plan

If you have not started the estate planning process, it is probably past time to check that off your to-do list. Whether you own a home in Cocoa or you are renting an apartment, an estate plan can benefit you. In reality, you do not need to possess high-value assests or have a lot of money to justify an estate plan. Preparing for the future is about making decisions that are right for you and your particular situation.

If you are new to estate planning, you may be wondering what you should include. While many people put a will in place, there are several other key documents you should add to your estate plan.

Advanced health care directive

An advanced health care directive is a vital document to have in case you become incapacitated. This form will specify your medical preferences in case you are unable to communicate. For instance, if you are in an accident that leaves you in a permanent coma, the advanced health care directive will spell out how you want the doctors to handle such a situation.

Power of attorney for asset management

If you do become incapacitated, do you know what will happen to your property? Will your bills get paid? Who will take care of your assets? A power of attorney for asset management will grant an individual you trust to oversee your financial needs while you cannot make these kinds of decisions yourself.

HIPPA release form

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits insurance companies from releasing your medical information without your express permission. While this law protects your privacy, it will also make it more difficult for your family members to deal with your medical insurance provider on your behalf if the need arises. The release form will allow the insurance company to talk to your named representative so that you receive the benefits the insurer is supposed to provide.

Living trust

A living trust is a great tool for transferring assets at the time of your death to those you have listed as beneficiaries in the trust. By transferring your assets to the trust, it will keep these assets private and provide added protection. In addition, a living trust brings more flexibility with the distribution of assets. Furthermore, it can eliminate the possibility of a contest to the will.

If you are ready to start estate planning, do not forget to include the above documents. A strong estate plan can safeguard the future of your property and your heirs.

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